Dubyah, Dubyah, Eye, Eye

I am reading a book called Roll Me Over. It is an infantryman's first person account of World War II. In the book, the author discusses the fact that, while we were at war with Germany, the whole enterprise looked much different when he was confronted with the German people. In other words, it could be hard to remember that they were our enemy when, in reality, they were just people like the rest of us:

The enemy was whoever wore a German uniform, and it was as simple as that. And notwithstanding the extravagant propaganda stories of "Belgian Nuns Ravished" and posters of children whose arms ended in bloody, mutilated stumps; in spite of the fighting hate that such propaganda may have inspired in the Allied heart, there was no basic conflict of ideology between the Allies and Germany.

Flash forward 60 years. Now we have true stories of nuns murdered, men with severed heads, and children used as suicide bombers. We do have a "basic conflict of ideology." And...?


Another thing I noticed from the book. The men were not allowed to write letters home during periods of actions because the officers were too busy with other matters to censor the mail. Now we "embed" reporters with the troops. And people complain about how our military operates "in secret."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There were even those that-after Pearl Haboor- were saying that we should negotiate wtih Japan. Rmember that Montana;s Jeanette Rankin voted against the declaration of War.

James Bradley points out in his book "Flags of our Fathers" that eventually Japan would have negotiated--that the fight over Iwo Jima-the strategy was for Japan to make the job of winning look difficult enough that the American public would get tired of the war and try a negotiated peace.

Sound familiar?